Europe panics as Biden threatens to nix Nord Stream 2 pipeline if Russia invades Ukraine, boots 27 diplomats

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President Biden upped the ante on Vladimir Putin Wednesday, warning the Russian leader that if he invades Ukraine, the United States will nix the $11 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline while booting 27 Russian diplomats from Washinton, D.C.

The threat alone sent European nations into a spin since that would effectively cut off gas supplies in the midst of winter. Germany, which has been very soft on Russia concerning Ukraine, backed the threat by Biden.

“I want to be very clear: if Russia invades Ukraine one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price informed reporters sparking panic in everyone except Putin it would seem. Price did not give specifics, but stated, “We [the US] will work with Germany to ensure it does not move forward.”

Price told NPR that Nord Stream 2 was not yet operational, which means it is “leverage for us” and for Germany. “It is leverage for the trans-Atlantic community because gas is not flowing,” he remarked.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told the parliament they were “working on a strong package of sanctions” with Western allies, “including Nord Stream 2,” according to the Daily Mail.

Emily Haber, who is Germany’s ambassador to Washington, ostensibly endorsed sanctions including the Nord Stream 2 pipeline Thursday. She tweeted that “the US and Germany jointly declared last summer: if Russia uses energy as a weapon or if there is another violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, Russia will have to pay a high price.”

“Nothing will be off the table, including Nord Stream 2,” Haber said.

Germany would be devastated by the cancelation of the pipeline. They are the largest consumer of Russian gas in the world, relying on Russia for over 50 percent of their supply.

Markus Krebber, CEO of one of Germany’s largest utilities, RWE AG, warned Germany would feel the frozen bite of winter if the Russian supply of gas “cannot be replaced in the short term.”

So far, Putin seems unfazed by the threat.

The Biden administration is scrambling to source gas from other countries in case Russia cuts off energy supplies. Experts believe that is a doomed effort as there is not enough gas to cover the shortfall.

While all of that drama is playing out, Biden ejected 27 Russian diplomats from D.C, sending them packing back to Moscow on Tuesday, according to the Russian Embassy.

“At the @StateDept request our collegues [sic] were forced to leave earlier than their tenure expired,” the embassy tweeted.

Russian ambassador Anatoly Antonov commented, “I don’t like this kind of activity.”

“I love it when you decide how much work to do how to work and when to leave, so with sadness I say goodbye to you. Thank you,” Antonov said on Facebook.

The State Department has already recalled the family members of diplomats working at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine. The department remarked it would “not be in a position” to evacuate U.S. citizens if Russia invades Ukraine.

Biden is prepping to deploy 1,000 troops to protect Eastern Europe. The United States has already put 8,500 soldiers on standby in case they are needed.

The U.S. and NATO provided Russia with written proposals on Wednesday in an attempt to advance a “diplomatic path forward,” while warning that Russia could invade Ukraine within days, according to Axios.

Analysts have warned that handing Putin a formal rejection in writing of his security demands could help make his case for war with Ukraine. It has yet to be seen how Putin will react to the threat of canceling the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and the rejection of his demands.


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